Members of the Town Council reviewed a handful of applications on everything from the town's zoning rewrite project to the latest information from the downtown redevelopment proposals during its Nov. 8 public hearing.
Council members deferred a subdivision plan for the Eldwardstone subdivision, and, after taking public comment from residents, a resolution requesting detailed stage proposals for the redevelopment of the downtown was deferred until Dec. 13.
No council members commented on the plan, and no presentation was given by representatives of the two development companies, Clark Ventures LLC and Herndon Station LLC, vying for the contract to build downtown. Until recently Herndon Station LLC, had not released its financial package, causing the council to hold closed sessions to compare the two developments. Because the town is still in negotiations regarding the acquisition of land around the proposed development areas — near the W&OD Trail, Center, Elden and Vine Streets — council members opted to defer the agenda item for 30 days.
Kay Robertson, planner with the town, gave a power point presentation detailing the status of the rewrite of the town's zoning ordinance. The presentation was given so council members could prepare for an upcoming Nov. 10 special work session on the detailed zoning ordinance. In addition, the hope was that residents in attendance would learn what changes have been suggested by the Planning Commission in the lengthy review process.
COUNCIL MEMBERS approved 6 to 0, with Ann Null present, a comprehensive plan amendment to update the Runnymede Park master plan, making it compliant with the park's resource management plan and the comprehensive plan.
Four years ago the Town Council voted, after a lengthy public hearing process, to remove many of the park's active recreation uses. This included removing volleyball, horseshoe pits, open play area, half-court basketball and a tot lot. During the council's Nov. 1 work session there was some debate over the recommended amendment, but Council member Dennis Husch reminded council this was an issue that was already decided. The current council's job was to implement the plan that was approved four years ago.
During the hearing former council member John De Noyer and Ann Csonka, Herndon resident, discussed alternative wording and strategies for use of the park. Town staff prepared two resolutions, one labeled Alternate A and the other Alternate B. The only difference between the resolutions was the placement of parking in front of the proposed nature center. Council members approved Alternate B, which did not include parking in front of the nature center and that was consistent with the master plan, created many years ago.
The council also approved, 6 to 0 with Null present, an application for a conditional use permit to allow improvements at Runnymede Park. The improvements would be along the Herndon Parkway side of the park and include adding a new entrance into the park, the construction of a nature center and the use of a service road to get to the nature center, among other things. Further information will come forward during the site plan phase of the improvements.
Council members approved, 7 to 0, an ordinance to extend the use of Station Street as a staging area for the construction equipment being used to build the Herndon Commerce Center; and an ordinance authorizing the placing of fence posts in a bike trail easement on Trapper Crest Road.
Following the public hearing the council went into closed session to discuss the Loudoun County boundary line appeal with hired outside counsel.